270 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. results became plainly visible. This splendid service to Christendom was entirely the work of Portugal, which was the first European power to appear in the Persian Gulf.1 The Importance of .Hormuz.—The port of Hormuz, the Ormus of Milton, mentioned by Marco Polo (see Chapter LVIL), and situated some six miles to the south-west of Minab, was of great commercial importance. Not long after the return journey of the Venetian the emporium was bodily transferred to the neighbouring island of Jerun for greater security, retaining there its old name, and it flourished amazingly for two centuries under Arab rulers, whose dominions also included Maskat and other posses- sions. The following description of the island by Pedro Teixeira, who visited it in A.D. 1587, deserves to be quoted : " This Isle of Jerun was of old volcanic, for which reason it remains so rugged as to amaze the explorer of its interior. It has a lofty range of hills running east and west from the sea to sea. From the foot of this to the * northern promontory, whereon stands the fortified city, there is a less rugged plain. But beyond the main range there is nothing but lesser ranges, separate hills, and a rugged wilderness/'2 Teixeira goes on to state that there was no fresh water in the island except rain-water collected in cisterns. It seems extraordinary that a city should have flourished in spite of such drawbacks, but the testi- mony on the subject is unanimous. For example, in A.D. 1442, Abdur Razzak, whose description of the sea has been quoted in Chapter II., states that Hormuz, which cc is a port situated in the middle of the sea, has not its equal on the surface of the globe." In A.D. 1504 Ludovico di Varthema, whose travels have been published by the Hakluyt Society, also refers to it as " the noble city of Ormuz, which is extremely beautiful." The description is borne out by the Persian proverb : " If the world were a ring, Hormuz would be the jewel of that ring." The First Portuguese Expedition against Hormuz^ A.D. 1507.—Greatest among the great Portuguese captains , iffi'Plde Whiteway's Rise of the Portuguese Power in India. ' * Travels of Pedro Texeira, p, 164. Ed. by Sinclair and Ferguson for the Haklqyt Society. We owe to this traveller a translation of the history of the Kings of Horxnuz and .also of Mirjfchond's history, referred to in Chapter LXII.